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19 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Behavioral Approach
The view based on the assumption that human behavior is determined mainly by what a person has learned in life, especially by rewards & punishments. An example would be a baby crying for food. Once it begins to cry, it gets fed. The baby has learned that to get the reward of food, it can cry.
Classical Conditioning
A procedure in which a neutral stimulus is paired with a stimulus that elicits a reflexive response until the neutral stimulus alone comes to elicit a similar reponse. An example is a dog that salivates at the ring of a bell. The bell was once neutral, but through repetition and pairing with food, it came to elicit the same reaction as food, even after the element of food was removed.
Operant Conditioning
A form of learning in which behavior is determined by its consequences and rewards/punishments. An example would be being grounded for yelling. The child learns through consequences that yelling is not desirable.
Spontaneous Recovery
The temporary reappearance of a conditioned response after extinction. An example would be a dog salivating to the ring of a bell, despite having made such connections extinct. It is found in classical conditioning.
Ivan Petrovich Pavlov
A Russian physiologist who won the Nobel Prize in 1904 for his research on the digestive system of dogs. Through his work with dogs, he stumbled upon the system of learning we now call classical conditioning when he began experiments to determine why his dogs were salivating when no food was present.
B.F. Skinner
An American psychologist who was an early supporter of the behaviorist theory. He also formalized many of Edward L. Thorndike’s ideas into the learning process he called operant conditioning.
Skinner Box
A device used to study operant conditioning and instrumental conditioning. A rat was placed inside the box, which was clear on three sides, and contained a lever that would dispense food when pressed by the rat. The box allowed researchers to arrange relationships between a particular response and its consequences.
Elements of Classical Conditioning
Unconditioned stimulus

Unconditioned response

Conditioned stimulus

Conditioned response

Spontaneous recovery

Second order conditioning
Elements of Operant Conditioning
Negative Reinforcement

Stimulus generalization

Stimulus discrimination


Positive Reinforcement

Schedules of Reinforcement

Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcers strengthen a response if they are presented after that response occurs. Presentation of a positive reinforcer after a response is called positive reinforcement. An example would be giving a bird some food after it pecks a key. The food is the positive reinforcer for future key-pecking.
Negative Reinforcement
Negative reinforcers are the removal of unpleasant stimuli, such as pain or noise. The process of strengthening behavior that terminates an aversive stimulus is called negative reinforcement. An example would be taking aspirin to relieve a headache. The taking of aspirin is the strengthening in behavior, and the removal of pain is the negative reinforcement.
The presentation of an aversive stimulus or the removal of a pleasant one to decrease the frequency of some behavior. Swatting a cat for chewing on a plant is an example.
Learned Helplessness
A process in which a person or animal stops trying to exert control after experience suggests that no control is possible.
Observational Learning/Modeling
Learning by watching the behavior of others.
Vicarious Conditioning
A kind of Observational Learning through which a person is influenced by watching or hearing about the consequences of others’ behavior. The conditions necessary for this type of learning to occur are a role model of some kind, direct observation of their behavior and of the consequences of their behavior, be they good or bad.
An understanding about what is required to produce a desired effect. An example would be staring at a crossword puzzle, mentally churning over possible answers, until you get a sudden burst of understanding and fill in what you need.
Cognitive Map
A mental representation of the environment. An example would be one’s mental map of their neighborhood.
Latent Learning
Learning that is not demonstrated at the time it occurs. For example, one’s first day at school can be confusing, and one may be late to several classes due to confusion. The next day, however, everything runs much smoother because in the time between then and now, learning has taken place.
Latent Learning vs. Insight
The difference between insight and latent learning is that latent learning is not evident when it first occurs, whereas insight comes in a sudden burst when it occurs.